Tuesday, 20 October 2009

An Irish Example

The UK government has once again stepped up its commitment to marine protection. Over the next few years, parts of the Irish Sea will be given environmental protection as the UK government is committed to establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas by 2012 - as part of the Marine Bill.

The Irish Sea Conservation Zones (ISCZ) will to help secure a healthy and productive future for the coast and waters of the Irish Sea.

The purpose of the ISCZ is to help the people who use the Irish Sea make recommendations to the government. It is the first time this stakeholder led process has been practised in the UK to help identify marine areas of protection.

The recommendations from users of the Irish Sea will form an essential part of the government’s decision as to which parts of the Irish Sea will be protected and how. The recommendations will go to government in June 2011.

The network of Marine Protected Areas in England will be made up of five different types of site:
Marine Conservation Zones
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Special Areas of Conservation
Special Protected Areas
Ramsar Sites

The network will conserve rare, threatened and representative species and habitats to conserve or improve biodiversity.

The Regional Marine Conservation Zones Projects have been set up by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to identify and recommend Marine Conservation Zones to Government.